NEW YORK — In what is being described as an act of terror, New York Police Department officials are still investigating an incident in lower Manhattan involving a vehicle that left eight people dead and injured more than a dozen.
In a press conference with NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill and FBI officials, as well as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the incident as “an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them.”
The mayor continued, “We know that this act was intended to break our spirit but we also know that New Yorkers are strong, New Yorkers are resilient and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence, an act meant to intimidate us. We have been tested before as a city very narthex site of today’s tragedy and New Yorkers do not give in in the face of these kids of actions. We will respond as we always do. We will be undeterred.”
De Blasio also asked all New Yorkers to be vigilant and “to live by the idea that if you see something say something – tell an officer immediately if you see anything unusual, anything that worries you.”
A 29-year-old male, whose identity is not being revealed, is in custody, O’Neill said, noting the investigation is ongoing with the NYPD and the FBI.
O’Neill detailed Tuesday afternoon’s events that started when the vehicle entered the bike path on Houston Street and exited the bike path on Chambers Street after colliding with a schoolbus. What appeared to be a Home Depot rental truck struck several people on the path, resulting in eight fatalities and at least 12 injuries. After hitting the schoolbus and injuring two people, the 29-year-old male driver of the truck, exited the vehicle brandishing two handguns and was shot in the abdomen by a uniformed NYPD officer, O’Neill said. A paintball hun and a pellet gun were recovered at the scene, he added. The subject’s identity is not being revealed at this time, nor is the name of the hospital where he was taken for medical treatment.
Numerous fashion and media businesses are housed in the area, including Time Inc. and Condé Nast. Shortly before 4:15 p.m., Time sent an emergency notification to all employees working at 225 Liberty Street asking them to respond whether they are OK or need assistance. Advised that Global Security was monitoring the status of all employees, recipients received confirmation of the shooting at Chambers and West Street.
About 25 minutes prior to that, Time’s Greg Giangrande e-mailed staff to say “the NYPD has reported that they have apprehended the suspect and there is no active threat. There are reports of casualties. We’re looking into this further. As a precaution, our security is on heightened alert and we continue to be in close contact with the NYPD.”